ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Defense Ministry on Thursday announced it had killed 14 Islamic State militants in an air raid in the disputed province of Kirkuk.
The airstrikes occurred southwest of Daquq District, located in the south of Kirkuk.
Heavy rainfall over the past few weeks has forced Islamic State militants to come out of their dugouts in Qarha Valley, southwest of Daquq, the Iraqi ministry said in a statement.
“The first strike killed six of the ISIS terrorists and the second shot was able to kill eight more,” read the statement.
The area is largely made up of vast tracts of arid terrain and is the site of sparsely populated Islamic State hideouts, from where its militants plan and carry out attacks. Iraqi security forces regularly conduct operations, including bombardments, in the areas where suspected terrorists are believed to be hiding.
Daquq, as part of Kirkuk, is one of the disputed territories claimed by both the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the federal government of Iraq. Baghdad currently controls the area since Oct. 16, 2017.
Despite Iraq declaring “final victory” against the extremist group in December 2017, they continue to carry out sporadic attacks, including bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings in previously liberated areas like Mosul, and also in areas, it never controlled like the capital of Baghdad.
Editing by Nadia Riva